This is a rare beauty, to see a Syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way; 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. The aromatic spectrum is vast, from fine musky florals to white pepper and almost every imaginable spice, then an incredibly exuberant explosion of fruit, boysenberry, raspberry, cherries of every shade, plus plums from red to blue and purple; it is full of life. The palate has an incredibly deep draw, total palate saturation of ripe red cherry, raspberry and red plum flavor, with chocolate and a dusting of white pepper. The tannins radiate light and energy, bright from start to finish. Perfectly ripe, seamlessly balanced and actually very approachable. Drink it now, but there's plenty to come in time; this will be best from 2022.
99 points, jamessuckling.com
Last visit to Clonakilla I did a broad tasting of components that go into the Shiraz Viognier and I was taken back by how many parts make up the whole – it’s a very intricate wine, takes TLC of the highest order to come together. The 2015 wine sees higher than usual whole bunch component (and it is notable, and a very good inclusion) in the ferment, with 20-30% whole bunch in each ferment. This wine is on song. I’m taken. Gorgeous, silky texture, a symphony of character in fragrance, game meats, herbs, red berries, clove, sweet spice. The palate is incredible – supple, pliant, long, satiny yet etched with the finest tat-work of lacy tannin. It’s savoury, fruit driven, pure-feeling but lifted on fine spicy oak and glossy acidity. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be. Drink now-2035+
97 points, Wine Front.
Tim Kirk is continuing to refine and explore the myriad of possibilities from this great site. Increasingly turning to higher proportions of whole bunches in the fermentations, he is getting greater and greater detail in his flagship wine. It is a thinker's wine, it stops you, draws you in and captivates. Incredibly detailed and floral-scented, the sumptuous and finely poised palate is a masterpiece.
98 points, Wine Companion
2015 is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages. And whilst the name and the vines may be comparatively newer, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange. This is a rare beauty, to see a Syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. 99 points, jamessuckling.com
Vines were first planted in the Canberra District in 1971 near Lake George by Dr Edgar Riek. The district is roughly divided into two areas, one in the Yass Valley around Murrumbateman and the other around Lake George and Bungendore. Canberra District has a cool continental climate with hot dry summers necessitating irrigation. A region of rolling hills, with elevations varying between 300 and 800 metres, means that spring frost is a real hazard, making site selection crucial. Small producers dominate the region, making handcrafted, high-quality wines particularly from Riesling, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
The story of Clonakilla is one of risk and ingenuity, of vision, generosity and faith. Founded in 1971, Clonakilla grew from a small, struggling boutique winery in the marginal wine region of Murrumbateman to become an icon of ultra-fine Australian wine. Under the skilled winemaking of Chief Winemaker Tim Kirk, Clonakilla’s remarkable flagship wine, the Langton’s Classified ‘Exceptional’ Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has risen to become a definitive example of its genre. Clonakilla also produces a number of superb whites including Riesling, Chardonnay and Viognier alongside its range of superbly crafted cool climate reds.